An interview with a professional musician
Gerry Saulter is a classical guitarist and music professor at Five Towns College in New York. He teaches a busy schedule of classes and is also one half of the internationally renowned flute and guitar ensemble, Serenade Duo.
Why did you chose to study music?
To tell you the truth, I believe music selected me. Thinking back as far as I can remember, music has always been a part of my life.
My earliest memories include learning piano with my grandmother and getting a wonderful guitar from an uncle as a child. He played a bit and gave me a beautiful Gibson acoustic jazz guitar when I was just 7 years old.
“One of the keys to being a good musician is the ability to listen”
As I grew older, I realized that music was very much a part of me. I first went to college as a business major, but found myself unfulfilled. After 2 years or so of working in retail management, my father recognized that I was not happy and he encouraged me to pursue a degree in music.
Both of my parents supported me earning at least a 4 year degree and wanted me to have a rewarding career. I guess you can say music is one of the basic tenants that leads to my happiness.
What advice would you give to an aspiring music student to boost their application for a music college?
One of the keys to being a good musician is the ability to listen. I would suggest that students listen to what the college is asking for when it comes to the audition requirements. I would also suggest to students to maintain a focus as it pertains to what they want out of a music degree.
When I audition a student, I listen for a quality set of musical skills and I look for a student who shows the potential to be disciplined in their ability to listen, follow instruction, and have a clear focus as it relates to their goals.